Hands on Heritage has worked with the Heart of Williamsport since its founding. Heart of Williamsport is a Community Heart & Soul® project that actively seeks the collective wisdom of all citizens, including those whose voices are often missing, to bring people together to build stronger, healthier, and more economically vibrant community.
The Heart of Williamsport’s mission is to collect stories from our diverse community, identify what people value, and share this information to guide Williamsport’s future.
The group uses storytelling as a way to connect with the people of Williamsport, to hear what they like, what they want, and what they want to see change. The members collect stories from a group of people as diverse as the community, identifying what they value, and using this to develop vision statements to guide local decision making.
Heart of Williamsport works with the Orton Family Foundation, an organization that’s focused on building stronger, healthier, and more economically vibrant small cities and towns across America. The foundation helps small towns to develop a community development model that empowers residents to shape the future of their communities.
Robin Van Auken of Hands on Heritage serves as the communication liaison, creating the group’s website, email campaigns, social media accounts, helps to steer discussion regarding digital storytelling, and serves as an adviser to the Lycoming College interns who work with the project. She represented the Heart of Williamsport at a summit with the Kettering Foundation in Ohio in October 2017. She has worked with Heart of Williamsport since January 2016.
The project has been supported in part by the Orton Family Foundation and the Pennsylvania Humanities Council, the Federal-State Partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities, as well as the Susquehanna Greenway.
On the web at Heart of Williamsport